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    May 12, 2013

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    CHICAGO – The UIC baseball team (24-25, 11-10 HL) said goodbye to its eight graduating seniors in style on Sunday afternoon at Les Miller Field as the Flames moved into sole possession of second place in the Horizon League with a 5-2 win against Valparaiso (24-26, 10-11 HL) to sweep the series.  After six innings, UIC faced a 2-0 deficit but then plated five unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth frames as UIC now owns a 5-1 record against the Crusaders this season.

    Senior pitcher Tim Suminski was credited with the win, improving his season record to 3-0.  Senior Ryan Boss piloted UIC at the plate by going 3-for-4, while senior Alex Gruenwald drove in three runs.  Senior Joey Begel came in for the final four outs of the contest and collected his second save of the season.

    “I feel really good about the way we are playing right now,” said head coach Mike Dee.  “After our Milwaukee series we sat down and talked about things that needed to change.  I give our guys a lot of credit because they bought into it and slowly but surely we’ve been playing consistently better.

    The Crusaders jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after scoring lone runs in the first and third innings.  UIC struggled at the dish in the first six frames as they totaled just three hits compared to six for Valpo.

    The Flames got rolling in the seventh as Boss led off with a double down the left field line.  Senior Alex De LaRosa followed that up with an infield single which pushed Boss to third and then Jurich joined them on base after he was walked.  Grunenwald then drove in Boss and sent De LaRosa to third on a sac fly to center field.  Senior Joe Betcher followed suit with another sac fly to plate De LaRosa and later in the frame, junior John Coen pushed Jurich across the dish with a single down the left field line to give UIC a 3-2 edge.

    After holding Valpo scoreless in the top of the eighth, the Flames rattled off two more scores in the bottom half of the inning.  Grunenwald pickup both RBI as he scored Jurich and Josh Nevers on a double to left field.  Grunenwald now owns 42 RBI, which continues to front all Horizon League players. 

    After the game, all eight seniors were honored on the field for their service and commitment to UIC baseball.  Those seniors include Joey Begel, Joe Betcher, Ryan Boss, Alex De LaRosa, Alex Grunenwald, Harry Kammholz, Ryan Shober and Tim Suminski.

    “I’m really proud of these eight guys and how much they have grown as people,” said Dee.  “I’m excited for their future and I know they will all be successful.”